God’s Got This

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Back to School

Back to school commercials. The sounds of band practice as I drive by the high school. Stopping for runners to cross the street as they train for cross-country season. Teacher friends posting pictures of their classrooms they’ve  set up for the new year. And, the list could go on that indicate that it is time for students to head back into the classroom.

Reminisce

Drew preschool

As I see these events take place, I reminisce the days of getting my son, Drew ready for school. From the first time he stepped on the school bus as a kindergartener to the time he graduated from college, flashes of pictures and years go through my mind.  I recall the many prayers said for Drew especially the first time he drove our car out of driveway as a licensed driver.

Drew running

Letting Go

Not only are teachers preparing classrooms and parents getting the school supply lists, there are parents who are preparing to take the next step with their child. This step is crossing the threshold of being at home over to the threshold of college days and their child being on their own. It is a very nail-biting time for most parents in this category.  The parent knows it is time to let go but also to be concerned and wary about the things of this world that their child will be exposed to.

 

I know all about the excitement and the butterflies that are taking place in families faced with this new season of life. As the saying goes, “been there, done that and got the t-shirt. After years of activities from late night homework and completing class projects to the countless cross-country events and practices, it was time for Drew to take the next adventure. There were all kinds of questions, and scenarios that would go through my head. Yet, I knew that I had given Drew all the things I could give him and it was time to let him go and place him in the Father’s hands.

Once Jim and I got Drew moved into his college dorm, we said our good-byes. Yes, I held back the tears until we got in the car. Although Western Kentucky University was only an hour drive from our home, it was  the longest hour of my life. As we drove home, I said a prayer asking God to guide Drew. I asked God to place good Christian friends/influences into Drew’s path as he attended college.

Drew

Meanwhile back at WKU, Drew made his way to the locker room at the athletic building. He was scouting out where he would have to be for cross-country training. As he was looking around, a guy who was in his sophomore year approached Drew. He introduced himself ( Mike). Mike asked Drew if he needed anything. Drew told him that he was just checking out the facility and that he was a walk-on for the cross-country/track team. Mike shared that he was a runner as well and would be one of his teammates and showed him some of the ropes.

In this process, the prayer I was saying in the car was being answered.  As Drew and Mike’s conversation progressed, Mike asked Drew where would he be going to church the following Sunday. Drew really didn’t have an answer.  Mike said, “you will be going with me.”  From that point on, there was no question as to where Drew was on Sunday mornings. Not only did Mike keep Drew involved in worship while at college, he gave Drew tips on how to study the scriptures. Drew and Mike began a Bible Study among their teammates. Drew also became involved in Campus Crusade. Prayer answered.  Six years after meeting Mike on that first afternoon at Western, Mike stood as Drew’s best man at Drew’s wedding.

To the Parents

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I share this story/testimony because it is uncharted territory for you and your college student.  These are the years where unconditional love and listening become so important. Yes, during these years, there were many times I had to bite my tongue because Drew wasn’t doing things they way I thought they should be done.  However, Drew learned to figure things out without Mom or Dad standing there telling him what to do. Also, it was the tough times and decisions that God was molding Drew into the man that he is today.  As hard as it is, I encourage you to let go and place your college student into the Father’s hands and trust.  One needs to surround them with prayer and your child needs to know that you will be there in an instant if they need you. Trust me, they will let you know at 2:00 AM that they need you.

To The Students

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To the college student, I share this with you to encourage you, to remember who you are, and that you do represent your family.  I encourage you to seek out friends that will encourage you on your faith journey.  Not only seek Godly friends but continue to respect your parents. After all, they did raise you and got you to where you are thus far. Also, don’t roll your eyes because Mom wants to straighten your bed or freshen up your dorm room on those first few visits. Just let her sweep or whatever she wants to do because this is the only love language in action that she has known for years. As time goes on, she will learn to arrive and simply visit without wanting to fold your laundry.  If Mom or Dad give advice on a certain topic, don’t be defensive but simply listen. Your parents have been around the block a couple of times. Although their ride around the block may be vastly different from the block you are traveling around, there may be some guidance and wisdom in what they are sharing with you. And, realize in a couple of short hours they will be gone.

Into The Father’s Hands

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From the first day of pre-school/kindergarten to the first day of college, it is hard seeing your babies step into that big world. It is a world of unknowns for them and for you. Even though it is a world of unknowns, it is important to remember that you  have an all-knowing God. He has plans for your child’s future. You  simply have to place that future into the Father’s hands and allow Him to guide them.  You also need to place yourself into the Father’s hands and ask God to guide you and give the wisdom you need on this journey as well. It does not matter if it is the very first day of kindergarten or college, God’s got this!

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Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6

“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.” Psalm 56:3

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm youplans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

 

Blessings,

April

 

 

 

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He’s Going To Be Fine

“Mama I Will Be Fine”

On December 25, 2004, I opened a box from my son, Drew and husband, Jim. In this box was the figurine that you see in the picture. Along with the figurine came a card with this written by the artist; The day our children go off into the world, only one thing is certain, things forever change. It’s a time for letting go, a time to let them test their wings, for one day they will fly free. And with them go our hopes and  prayers for the futures, for God has a wonderful plan for their lives. One will find a cure, one will save a life, one will lead a congregation, and one will lead a nation, but none will go alone.”  Bill Stross (Artist of Prayers and Promises) What prompted Jim and Drew to give me this gift was that Drew would graduate from High School that following Spring and then in the Fall off to college he would go.  This was their way of re-assuring me that Drew was going to be okay as he stepped out into the big world of his own. Jim would always say to me “He’s going to be fine.”
Spring, 2005 came and Drew graduated and in August we moved Drew to Western Kentucky University. As we moved him into his dorm and helped him get settled in, I prayed that God would take care of my only baby, give me strength to let go, and give assurance that Drew would be okay.  Then, when all was moved in and Drew resisted anymore help from me, Jim and I said our good-byes and headed for home. Home was only an hour and fifteen minutes away but that was the quietest  hour and fifteen minutes that we had ever rode in our car.  The only words spoken were Jim saying again, “He is going to be fine.”
As we approached for home, I prayed to God again. Drew had grown up in a Christian home, had been influenced by many Christian leaders in church, school, and within the community.  I knew it was easy for one to stray and I didn’t want Drew to stray. In my prayer, I asked God to send someone to be a friend, mentor, and that would encourage him in his faith. Later, I found out that about the time I prayed that prayer, Drew had made his way over to the campus gym and locker room. He wanted to find out where he was to meet for running practice and become more acquainted with his surroundings.  When Drew arrived at the gym locker room a guy,Mike Duncan, came up and introduced himself. Mike was a runner for WKU as well and he began to show Drew the ropes. Not only did Mike show Drew the ropes but he invited Drew to attend worship with him on the following Sunday. Drew attended worship with Mike and along the way began a bible study group with the runners and began to share Jesus Christ with fellow teammates. This summer, Drew will marry and Mike will be his best man.
College came and went. Drew comes home from college and announced he would be moving to Chicago. When I first heard the news, I began to worry. Thoughts of him getting mugged, robbed, and countless other things that mother’s are good at worrying about raced through my mind. Again, Jim assured me with the words; He’s going to be fine.”  As we moved Drew to Chicago and helped to get him settled in, I once again prayed for someone to come along to encourage him in his faith and I also prayed for his safety. Again, God showed me Drew was going to be fine, when I heard Drew had found a church, a small group and a Family Group that met weekly. Drew quickly learned how to bloom where he was planted and create a family of his own through these small groups.
Two years of Drew living in Chicago came and went. This past March, Drew moved to a new job in Atlanta.   Again, the fret and worry of Drew’s move going smooth went through my mind.  This move did not make me near as anxious since he was moving to the city  where I grew up and he would be close to family. As Drew moved to Atlanta, lived with my parents for a couple of weeks while apartment looking, questions would rise from various family members and at this point I would say; “He’s going to be fine!” 
In August, Drew will take the hand of a very lovely young lady, Megan and unite with her in marriage.  As Drew takes Megan’s hand, I will be reminded of how God has taken care of Drew since he left his home.  Then, as they say their vows to one another, I will say another prayer. Only this time, my prayer will be for Megan and Drew and their life together. My prayer will include a life of happiness, opportunities to grow in their faith together,  strength for the down times they will have and, most of all, for their protection as they journey in the days ahead. I know in that moment that God will whisper in my ear “they will be fine.”
As a mother, I am a true believer of placing your child into the hands of God. In my experience of motherhood, I have witnessed times with Drew where the only way out of a situation was God clearing the path and placing angels of protection around Drew.  God has re-affirmed to me that Drew is not out there alone nor has he ever been.  However, know that it is not all God’s doing. I have had to work with God in knowing the assurance that Drew was going to be okay. Through the years, I was the biggest cheerleader Drew could ever imagine and probably embarrassed him a time or two. I cheered him on in his school work, accomplishments outside of the academics, in his running and in sharing his love for Christ.  It was years of discipline, wiping tears but, most of all, it was making sure Drew was at church, reading the scriptures with him, praying with him and simply showing him to put his value and trust in his Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
 For you moms out there whether you are new or experienced, pray for your child/children daily. Place your child in the hands of God. Ask God to feather them with HIS mighty protection. I encourage you to take your children to church, read the scriptures with them, pray with them and show by example what it means to put your trust in God. Along with instilling those values, be your child’s biggest fan and cheerleader!  Then, realize as a child of God that they are never nor never will be out in that big world alone. “He/She is going to be fine.” 
Happy Mother’s Day  to ALL mothers this Mother’s Day weekend. May many joys and blessings come your way!
“But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” 2 Timothy 3:14-15
Blessings